Holland-area district wants commencement speech changed

Full story: WZZM Grand Rapids

A West Michigan school district has asked a high school co-valedictorian to change his planned commencement speech that was to include biblical references.
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1 - 16 of 16 Comments Last updated Jun 9, 2008
Lily

Grandville, MI

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#1
Jun 8, 2008
 
How can a district asked this person to change his speech, but if he doesn't he won't be able to speak, does this really make sense to this school system? They are just makeing it sound so nice but really they are telling him, give a speech that we like or don't give one, how stupid.I really am very glad my children are in Zeeland Schools, they give their students enough credit to be able to know what they may say and what not to. As far as being "legal" why is it always up to the people who don't want a biblical message to be able to set the standards for those of us who want to hear God's word, maybe they ought to hear it before they criticize it. Thankfully Holland has so much time on their hands to worry so much about one person's speech.
Gail in Wyoming

United States

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#2
Jun 8, 2008
 
That's too bad for this young man. He wrote a speech that he felt was uplifting and positive for his school, and because it contained biblical passages, he can't recite it.

I commend him for this. He'll do what he has to do, but to say he was inspired by his Bible Study Class was so uplifting to me. I'm sure his family are very proud of him. It looks to me like he's on his way to a successful future.
Dennis in Holland

AOL

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#3
Jun 8, 2008
 
this young man should stand for what he believe's in. That is the problem with people now days they don't stand up. This is why america is becoming what it is. Don't we have a amendment of free speech.
Amy in Zeeland

United States

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#4
Jun 8, 2008
 
How can the district say this infringes on the seperation of church and state yet, banning a student from making a Bibical refrence would be infringing on his freedom of speech amendment wouldn't it? I believe and hope that we still live in a nation where the majority still rules and the last poll I read stated that 82% of Americans believed in God.
This student is simply stating what inspired him, he is not telling everyone they have to belive in God or forcing his values on anyone else, he is just stating facts. I don't understand the problem. I too commend this young man for being bold enough to say that the Bible was his inspiration.
Susie

Holland, MI

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#5
Jun 8, 2008
 
Maybe I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that Biblical/religious matter could not be taught in the schools. I know of schools in this area that allow students to have bible studies in the school, just not during school hours. I believe that this young man has every right under the law to reference biblical passages in his speech.
Maria

Holland, MI

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#6
Jun 8, 2008
 
The school district is misinterpreting the law. Many other districts have in the past also, for the fear of the very few. But, he has all the right to keep his speech.
I wish the school districts would look a little further into it and make the correct choices, despite their fear.

“Police Assault! ”

Since: Mar 08

Edmond, OK

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#7
Jun 8, 2008
 
His impact by not speaking will go as far, if not further.
It is kind of like "Ironman". where the US military tells him what to say and he announces "I am Ironman" - sorry if I ruined the end of the movie for anyone.

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

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#8
Jun 8, 2008
 
Amy in Zeeland wrote:
How can the district say this infringes on the seperation of church and state yet, banning a student from making a Bibical refrence would be infringing on his freedom of speech amendment wouldn't it? I believe and hope that we still live in a nation where the majority still rules and the last poll I read stated that 82% of Americans believed in God.
This student is simply stating what inspired him, he is not telling everyone they have to belive in God or forcing his values on anyone else, he is just stating facts. I don't understand the problem. I too commend this young man for being bold enough to say that the Bible was his inspiration.
I think the student should be able to say what he has to say. Nothing offensive about it.

In fact, I think I'd encourage readings from the Quran and Aleister Crowley's magick without tears.
Myra Orr Kimball

Riverside, RI

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#9
Jun 8, 2008
 
Free speech is free speech! This very special student has the right to quote whatever he chooses in his speech and it should be given as he has written it.
Be thankful he quoted from the bible!

Myra Orr Kimball
Riverside, RI
Robert Pool

United States

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#10
Jun 8, 2008
 
Would Shakespeare be OK?
Maybe Durant?
Tolstoi?
Socrates wouldn't make the cut-He talks about God.
Wyoming Resident

AOL

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#11
Jun 8, 2008
 
Separation of Church and State? Nonsense. Sounds like the libs are sneaking their agenda in to that school system. If they asked the speech be changed to omit references to some liberal perverse agenda, the libs woud cry DISCRIMINATION!!!!!!! The day is ending and I hope this young student got to give the speech in its original form. THANKS BE TO GOD!!!!
pmi

United States

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#12
Jun 8, 2008
 
Idiots in Holland are wrong, and they will pay for it in the long run.

I feel, without knowing, that this person has a strength far above what the boiled frogs are stuck in. And I also believe that the message will be transmitted.

Keep Going!!!
pmi

United States

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#13
Jun 8, 2008
 
Myra Orr Kimball wrote:
Free speech is free speech! This very special student has the right to quote whatever he chooses in his speech and it should be given as he has written it.
Be thankful he quoted from the bible!
Myra Orr Kimball
Riverside, RI
I so much totally agree.

Even though we are not all perfect, at least we have some sort of love for God.
Cost Accountant

Madison Heights, MI

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#14
Jun 9, 2008
 
Yes, it was alright for the Rockford Valedictorian to bash Christians by lumping them together in a gay-bashing group. It makes no sense that one district wont allow a "religious speech", while another one allows a "religious-bashing" speech. Amazing.

“Taz say Hi”

Since: Jan 08

Holland,MI

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#15
Jun 9, 2008
 
According to today's Holland Sentinel, he rewrote his speech and one co-valedictorian added a bible verse to his! Good for them!
Alfred

United States

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#16
Jun 9, 2008
 
Gentle Taz wrote:
According to today's Holland Sentinel, he rewrote his speech and one co-valedictorian added a bible verse to his! Good for them!
And you thought I was a troll, shame, shame on you.

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